In an unprecedented move, veteran BJP leader L K Advani has decided to skip the party’s key National Executive meeting to be held in Goa on Saturday. The senior leader has never missed a party national executive.
He is believed to have cited ill health as the reason for him missing the crucial meet. On Friday, Advani supporters had said that his arrival in Goa on Saturday was still tentative and would depend on the doctor’s advice. Related: Cracks and chaos in saffron camp: BJP has its hands full
In what appears like a replay of last summer’s events in the BJP when an angry Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had threatened to boycott the party’s national executive meeting, Advani is learnt to have gone into a sulk and skipped the meeting of the party’s national office-bearers on Friday, the eve of the national executive conference in Goa.
In an apparent attempt at damage-control, party president Rajnath Singh claimed that Advani was unwell and it was he who had asked Advani to rest. “Due to Advaniji’s ill-health, I told him not to attend the meeting today. He will reach Goa tomorrow,” Singh told.
But other leaders said that there was more to it than what meets the eye as Singh and Advani had not spoken to each other since the news became public.
Last year, ahead of the national executive in Mumbai, Modi had demanded the party stop rehabilitating his bete noire and former general secretary Sanjay Joshi. This year, Advani is said to be campaigning against the party becoming fully dependent on just Modi.
While giving his consent to Singh’s proposal to appoint Modi as the party’s election campaign committee chief, Advani was learnt to have also insisted that a separate ‘election management committee’ be formed.